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FinTech Trends That Transformed The Industry in 2021 (AI and Blockchain)

2021 has been a year full of change, and as consumers continue to gravitate towards online shopping, businesses are also transforming to meet the demand for convenience and frictionless digital payments for businesses and consumers.

In short, the industry developments are so rapid, widespread, and transformative that covering all industry trends would result in a 3 season Netflix Series - therefore we have selected some key topics that are split over two blogs.

Artificial intelligence in Financial Services

Detecting fraud

Organizations can identify automated and more complex fraud attempts faster and more accurately by combining supervised and unsupervised machine learning as part of a larger Artificial Intelligence (AI) fraud detection strategy.

Banks’ core banking systems & middle-office functions

To assess risks, improve processes for AML, perform KYC regulatory checks and even make 1-second loan decisions.

  • Natural Language Processing (NLP)
    Technology provides organizations with real-time critical insights.

It is evident that companies who wish to stay or become competitive in today’s landscape, need to take aggressive steps in ensuring that their strategy, infrastructure, and processes are data and AI-driven.

25% of the frontrunners of AI adoption in payments see it as mission-critical and strategic importance

Blockchain’s Breakthrough, Centralised & Decentralised

Next to AI, it’s been a great year for Blockchain as well with numerous use cases of governments & massive organizations embracing the technology.

To provide some perspective;

  • We’ve seen a number of partnerships between Payments Giants with Crypto Projects, such as Visa launching a pilot allowing customers to trade bitcoins amongst many others. 
  • An explosive rise of the CBDC’s in concrete plans, use cases, and actual implementations; such as in China, The Bahamas, The Marshall Islands, Sweden, and the European Union.
  • 2021 saw El Salvador become amongst one of if not the first nations to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, meaning it can be accepted across the country to pay for goods and services, and businesses can use it to pay their employees.
  • A significant milestone this year was the incredible all-time highs in the crypto market and although crypto currencies & blockchain applications can be extremely volatile, and therefore make or lose you a lot of money, real-life applications are unique but incredibly promising.
  • ISO20022 compliant blockchains.  Only a handful of crypto focus on real-world utility. Take XDC Network by XinFin for example which has a primary focus on Global Trade & Finance and filling a multi-trillion-dollar gap. Given it’s interoperable with ISO 20022 financial messaging standards allows Financial Institutions to actually use and interact with XDC Network.
  • More than $3 billion in private investment went into NFT companies in 2021, according to data compiled by PitchBookNFT’s
  • Facebook is transforming its platform to Meta, further expanding the NFT interest, and blockchain applications to its insanely large audience.

All of the above have not even covered green blockchain initiatives, other payment utilities tokens, blockchain, and IoT integrations, Hybrid blockchain networks supported by the biggest banks in the world, and even more, the key takeaway is blockchain technology allows for incredible opportunities now, and with the likes of Web 3.0 coming up.  We’re really just getting started.

Blockchain adoption at top institutions. Source: Blockdata

Out of the top 100 public companies in the world; 65 are actively developing blockchain solutions and 16 are actively in a research phase.

Out of the 65 mentioned; Microsoft, Amazon, Tencent, Nvidia, J.P. Morgan, Walmart, Alibaba, PayPal, Samsung and the Bank of China are amongst the 27 companies with current live blockchain operations. 

What are some of the best applications of blockchain in business you’ve seen so far? 

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